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ABM Treaty Delays Missile Testing * Sham economic plan * No security from space

26 October 2001


The first item is a recent AP report on the announcement from the Bush administration to delay missile testing. Feel free to call the White House Comment Line 202-456-1111 to encourage a permanent delay in honor of disarmament and real security. Item 2 is urgent, and you need to respond soon to have an impact on a sham of an "economic stimulus" plan. Follow the link and send E-mails to your Senators. Better yet, use the link for talking points and call the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121 today to urge your Senators to pass a plan that is fair and inclusive -- without more tax breaks for big business and the wealthy. If Congressional offices in DC are closed, contact your regional offices, which can be located at http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/index.html

Item 3 is a speech by Juergen Scheffran at the anti-war demonstration in Berlin, October 13, 2001. Please copy and forward the transcript to George Bush ( president@whitehouse.gov ) and anyone who tries to justify missile defense as a legitimate response to September 11.


1) Pentagon Delays Missile Testing due to ABM Treaty
2) A sham of an "economic stimulus" plan
3) No security from space against terror

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1) Pentagon Delays Missile Testing due to ABM Treaty

Pentagon Puts Off Missile Testing

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration is putting off three missile tests that might have violated a 1972 treaty banning nationwide missile defenses, Pentagon officials said Thursday.

The announcement by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld marked the first time the administration has allowed concerns about the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty to slow its missile defense project.

The administration may yet withdraw from the treaty, but Thursday's announcement gives President Bushroom to maneuver during his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Washington and at Bush's Texas ranch in three weeks.

The president will have demonstrated in advance that the administration is not going to engage in missile defense testing of questionable legality until the future of the ABM treaty is decided.

Bush has said repeatedly that the United States needs an effective defense against long-range ballistic missiles and that the ABM treaty must not be allowed to stand in the way. Administration officials have said the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, while not involving missiles, show the nation is vulnerable to unconventional surprise attack and one day this could come from missiles.

Rumsfeld told a Pentagon news conference that the delays would allow more time for the administration to strike a deal with Russia on moving beyond the ABM treaty. Bush has said that unless he gets an arrangement with Russia that accommodates his missile defense program, the United States will withdraw from the treaty, which it is permitted to do with six months' notice.

Vocal supporters of missile defense have urged the administration to declare the treaty invalid - since one of its two original signatories, the Soviet Union, no longer exists - and move ahead with unlimited testing.

Henry Cooper, who shares that view, said Thursday he was disappointed by Rumsfeld's announcement.

``It shows that we in fact are constraining our program out of concern for the treaty,'' he said. Cooper was director of the Pentagon's missile defense office during Bush's father's administration.

Rumsfeld and other administration officials had said earlier this year that at some point the Pentagon's missile defense program would ``bump up against,'' or come in conflict with, the ABM treaty.

``That has now happened,'' Rumsfeld said.

Rumsfeld did not say whether he agreed that the three delayed tests would have actually violated the treaty. He has often said the treaty itself is an irrelevant relic of the Cold War and must be discarded. Nonetheless, he said, now is not the time to invite accusations of treaty violations.

``I do not want to put the United States in a position of having someone raise a question about whether or not something is a violation of a treaty,'' he said. ``I don't think that's the position the United States wants to be in.''

Rumsfeld made clear he believes the United States cannot afford to put off building a missile defense system.

``The one thing that's clear is that the United States cannot stay bound to the constraints of that treaty and still do what we've indicated we believe very sincerely we must do, and that is to develop effective ballistic missile defenses,'' he said.

Air Force Lt. Col. Rick Lehner, a spokesman for the Pentagon's Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, said in a telephone interview that it was determined by administration lawyers who study ABM compliance issues that the three planned tests could be interpreted as treaty violations.

Two of the three delayed activities - involving the use tracking radars - would not have occurred as scheduled anyway because they were to be performed in conjunction with a missile intercept test that has been rescheduled for unrelated reasons, the official said.

The intercept test, in which a missile interceptor is fired from a U.S. test range in the central Pacific Ocean to chase down an intercontinental-range missile carrying a mock nuclear warhead, was to have been held Oct. 24. Lehner said the Pentagon has rescheduled the intercept test for either late November or early December to provide more time for testing the interceptor.

In conjunction with the October intercept test, an Aegis radar aboard a U.S. Navy ship was to have tracked the target missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The Aegis radar also was to have tracked the interceptor.

Also as part of the test, a radar at Vandenberg was to have tracked the target missile.

Additionally, an Aegis radar was to have tracked a Titan II missile scheduled to launch a satellite into space Nov. 14.

Each of those tracking radar activities has been put off indefinitely, Rumsfeld said.

The ABM treaty prohibits the use of sea-based, mobile or space-based radar to track ballistic missiles as part of a missile defense system.

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2) A sham of an "economic stimulus" plan

Action Needed:

The US House of Representatives voted on a sham of an "economic stimulus" plan that accelerates tax cuts for the wealthy and doles out economic pork to those who need it least. Those most in need, poor families and low-wage or laid-off workers, are little more than an afterthought. Please take a minute to e-mail your senators with this message; "resist the temptation to simply reduce the Republican pork a bit (and call it a victory) -- and instead produce a package that addresses our real needs in this recession.

Click here
http://www.capwiz.com/now/issues/alert/?alertid=65021&type=CO&azip=

or go to http://www.now.org/congress and urge your
senators to pass a plan that is fair and inclusive --
without more tax breaks for big business and the
wealthy.

Statement of NOW President Kim Gandy at the National Press Club on October 24, 2001

Military action and bioterrorism are capturing headlines, but the economy is also in dangerous territory. Hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs in the wake of the September 11 terrorism and the worsening recession. But instead of decisive action to help these displaced workers and spur the economy, the bill passed by the House Ways and Means Committee is the worst kind of trickery. Paying mostly lip service to the plight of laid-off workers and the call for national unity, House Republican leaders are like the magician who says "Watch this hand" -- while shamelessly using the other hand to dole out economic pork.

We all know that the travel and tourism industries have been hit hard and according to the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union, one-third of its members have been laid off. But among the hardest hit are women in state Welfare-to-Work programs who were trained in large numbers for work in the hotel industry. What happens to one of these women when she is laid off?

What does she find waiting for her at home? Will she receive the unemployment benefits that her co-workers get? Will she be forced to reapply for welfare assistance, for whatever is left of her 5-year limit? Tick. Tick. Tick. Every tick of that cruel clock bringing her and her children closer to despair, and not a job in sight. Only the Congress can stop the clock and stop this heartless threat to poor families during a recession. Furthermore, women who are still receiving welfare assistance but have been unable to find jobs cannot reasonably be held to a time limit that is set to expire, when there simply are no jobs to be found.

It is likely that the House will pass this bill, so we must demand that the Senate create a plan to help both the people and the economy not big business. This includes reforming unemployment insurance to include more workers, especially part-time workers, extending benefits and giving them directly to the unemployed (not block-granting to the states, creating another level of bureaucracy), stopping the welfare time clock, and rejecting any tax breaks for corporations that are not directly tied to new investments and job creation.

If Congress wants to stimulate spending, then it needs to get money into the hands of low-income and laid-off workers who, by necessity, will put it right back into the economy -- while feeding their families.

Click to the following link and urge your senators to pass a plan that is fair and inclusive -- without more tax breaks for big business and the wealthy.

http://www.capwiz.com/now/issues/alert/?alertid=65021&type=CO&azip=

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3) No security from space against terror

Missile defense and space war do not provide security against terror

Speech by Juergen Scheffran
held at the anti-war demonstration in Berlin, October 13, 2001
(Revised translation from German)

The events of September 11 have terribly demonstrated how vulnerable our industrial society is. Military lobbyists are using the public fear about terror for their own purposes. They try to convince us that war and new weapons can protect us against terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and missile attacks. They promote the vision of the military controlling outer space in order to counter all threats on earth.

September 11 marks the complete failure of all security systems of the world's greatest military power. All intelligence and secret services, expensive reconnaissance satellites and a giant high-technology military arsenal were incapable to detect people from the neighborhood using pocket knifes to convert commercial airliners into weapons of mass destruction. The attempt to achieve security from great distance with most advanced technical systems failed miserably against a determined enemy sitting within society, waiting for the appropriate moment to attack. Contrary to the vision of a high frontier in outer space, in reality the concept of frontier
becomes meaningless in an interlinked, globalized and fractal society where the threat can be everywhere and nowhere.

Nevertheless, US President George W. Bush still believes that his country can be protected by a multi-billion dollar space shield against ballistic missiles from rogue states. His Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is heading towards space weapons to prevent a Pearl Harbor in space. And the US Space Command aims at a comprehensive space dominance to control earth. The intention is to control the information flows around the globe, to achieve the capability to strike everywhere at any time, and to protect against all adverse consequences. A huge network of missile interceptors and laser weapons, military satellites and radars shall detect, pursue and destroy any threat.

In order to realize these plans Bush has recently nominated the previous director of the Space Command, Richard Myers, to become the leader of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. Instead of dreaming visions of space war, Myers now directs the attack on Afghanistan, a country which has been devastated by decades of civil war. People who until now were massacred by swords, knifes and rifles are now being attacked by laser-guided bombs which probably will not hit those
responsible for the terror.

The quest for total security may lead to total control and total war. Missile defense and space dominance feed a dangerous illusion of security which prevents the search for alternatives and real solutions. Those who feel protected against any threat are tempted to continue a miserable globalization policy, to ignore poverty and hunger, environmental destruction and climate change, scarcity of energy and water in the world. Similar to the attacks on Afghanistan, which sow new terror and drive the chain of violence, the attempt to control earth from space provokes feelings of powerlessness. Despair, anger and hate create the breeding ground for terrorism.

Promoting missile defense and space war adds fuel to the flames of conflict, heats the arms race on earth and in space, provokes instabilities in crisis regions of the Middle East, South Asia and North-East Asia, wastes valuable resources which are required to solve global problems. The destruction of existing arms control and disarmament treaties, including START II, the ABM Treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Biological Weapons Convention, ultimately will strike back to the USA. What they do, others can claim for themselves.

Many have dreamt of invulnerability in history but no one ever reached it. Sometimes it is the recognition of the own vulnerability that requires conflict resolution, the settlement of disputes and agreement. The people in Central Europe had to live over four decades of the Cold War with the worst of all threats: complete nuclear annihilation. Inspired by the peace movement and Gorbachev's New Thinking they learned that only a policy of common security and disarmament could bring peace to Europe. The history of Berlin clearly demonstrates that walls do not exist forever, that parts of the world can neither be excluded nor confined.

Power projection into space and anti-terror wars cannot provide true security. The alternatives are clear and simple: avoid threats before they emerge; dry out the causes of terror; cut the instruments of violence and destruction. To be specific, it is essential to improve international control of missiles and space weapons, of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, leading towards their ultimate elimination and prohibition. Here Europe can be a leader instead of following the US in military strikes. In addition, the possible motivations and the social conditions of terrorism have to be tackled. Sustainable peace requires a broad basis within society which includes the well-being of all people. This is the best way to undermine the sources and resources of terror.

Juergen Scheffran is physicist, co-founder of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation (INESAP) and editor of the INESAP Information Bulletin at the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany. scheffran@hrzpub.tu-darmstadt.de, http://www.inesap.org

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